Profile of the Air Jordan 8 Retro

Zeroing in on providing the most secure lockdown, Tinker Hatfield combines striking visuals and cross-straps to bring about the eighth iteration of the famous Air Jordan–a shoe that is distinct from all the other Air Jordan silhouettes.

The AJ 8 is obviously quite pricier than the typical signature shoe. Other Jordan shoes such as the highly-coveted first Jordan shoe, and the hugely innovative 33rd Michael Jordan are more affordable and more suitable for casual wear.


Cushion. Originally, the Jordan 8 featured a Polyurethane midsole. It later switched to a more stable foam called Phylon. This foam encapsulates two separate Air units, one at the forefoot and one at the heel.

Traction. Much of the shoe’s traction area is rough and flat with holes of differing sizes scattered all over. Surprisingly, this outsole provides just as much grip as the next basketball shoe despite of it being herringbone-less.


Length and Width. The shoe is true to size. If purchasing online, go with your standard Air Jordan basketball sizing.

Lockdown. Other than the traditional lacing system, the shoe features a unique leather cross-strap. The strap starts from the base and crosses over to the opposite side of the shoe, pulling the ankle and maximizing the shoe’s hold on the foot.


Involving several layers, the Air Jordan 8 Retro has an internal padded cleatie that is reminiscent of the Jordan 7. A perforated external layer, usually made of leather, suede, or nubuck depending on the colorway, covers the cleatie. This outer shell is also overlaid with other different materials such as the molded synthetic material on the ankle collar and leather on the cross-straps.

A TPU plate makes up the sides of the heel, providing support and heel lockdown. Phylon is used on the midsole together with Nike’s classic Air unit, while the outsole utilizes a solid rubber compound. The recessed area on the shoe’s bottom allows for a smooth ride.


Released after Tinker Hatfield’s 1992 outdoor-only Air Raid basketball shoe, the Air Jordan 8 fashions a similar strap that runs across the upper. Built for functionality and style, the strap not only delivers a solid lockdown but also adds a multidimensional aesthetics.

Additionally, the bold colors of the TPU side panels and the Chenille Jumpman logo on the tongue add a unique flair and personality.

Special Colorways of the Air Jordan 8 Retro

The Air Jordan 8 has been re-released in other colorways. The following are some of the most recent ones:

  • Air Jordan 8 Retro Cool Grey
  • Air Jordan 8 Retro White/Metallic Gold/Varsity Red
  • Air Jordan 8 Retro Black/Metallic Gold/Varsity Red

Even so, the most popular ones will always be the first three colorways: Bugs Bunny, Aqua and the Playoffs.

Air Jordan 8 Bugs Bunny

The Air Jordan 8 Bugs Bunny colorway was a product of the Nike Air Jordan and Warner Bros. collaboration in 1992. The shoe features a predominantly white upper with hints of red and Bugs Bunny gray. The color combo extends into the midsole while black detailings are added to tongue and straps to complete the look.

Air Jordan 8 Aqua

Worn only once by Michael Jordan on the NBA All-Star Game in 1993, the Air Jordan 8 Aqua features a black upper with pops of concord and turquoise on the shoe’s midsole and Chenille tongue.

Air Jordan 8 Playoffs

Michael Jordan wore the Air Jordan 8 Playoffs during the 1993 NBA Finals where his team won against the Phoenix Suns in a 4-2 series. The shoe takes after the Aqua colorway’s black upper; but it has red, gray, and concord detailings on the midsole and outsole.

Facts / Specs

Weight: 510g
Top: High
Signature: Michael Jordan
Lockdown: Strap, Lace-Up
Collection: Air Jordan
Features: Retro / Ankle support
Colorways: Black / Grey / White / Green / Blue / Red

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Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic

Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.